Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#notchilled Ellora's Cave vs Dear Author: More filings (10/14/2015 update)

There were more filings yesterday in the Ellora's Cave vs Dear Author lawsuit, Defendant's Reply to Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment.

Of particular interest is the main filing, page eleven (as labelled at the bottom of each page, not the e-filing numbers at the top) and footnote 9 on that page.

I'll let you go look for yourself. Much more amusing that way.

No comment. I mean, seriously, no comment. I am unable to formulate the words. The footnote, as filed, stands on its own.

Also, two other updates I posted on my main site:

Look, here's the thing. When I teach a BDSM 101 class, one of the points I HEAVILY STRESS is safety issues and avoiding predators. And I always say the same thing--when you have ONE person who is making claims and calling a BUNCH of other people liars, and ALL those other people are 1) reliable sources and/or 2) have proof to back-up their claims, you don't start assuming ALL the other people are lying. You look at the ONE standout that everyone else is pointing to and you ask tough questions and you ask for proof from them to their assertions to counter what EVERYONE ELSE is saying.

If you hear 30+ people make similar complaints about a doctor/mechanic/daycare/veterinarian, are you going to use that professional, or are you going to assume that ALL those people are engaged in a vast "right-wing conspiracy" to defame?

I'm not talking about anonymous Yelp complaints or Amazon reviews. I'm talking when you meet individuals who are speaking out, EVEN IF IT'S TO THEIR DETRIMENT TO SPEAK OUT, whether it's fear of reprisals, or fear of lawsuit, or fear of some other retaliation, people who can PROVE their claims, or who are, at the very least, reliable sources with obvious first-hand knowledge that frequently matches up with reports from others whom they don't even KNOW.

Law of averages, folks.

Do I hope EC fails?

NO. In fact, I've called for people to report good and bad customer service issues over on my main site, and have received a good customer report about dealing with a CS rep at EC. And if the court rules against DA in this case, I'll be reporting that as well.

Do I know the full "truth" of what's going on at EC?

Of course not. I only have what's now part of the public record in court filings, author and other blog posts and e-mails, and things people have told me in confidence for years.

What do I base my personal conclusions on? I see a clear pattern being presented by the evidence being filed in this case, patterns that match up to things I've been told by unrelated other parties for years.

Do not base YOUR conclusions on just what I or any one other person is saying. Look at ALL the statements and evidence being presented. The entirety of the body of evidence and statements.

When I see authors and editors standing up and filing legal witness statements, under threat of perjury, and stating that what they say is true, to me, that gives weight to claims being made. When I see a company official swear up and down in an e-mail that they have redundant backups in place and then just a few months later a site migration supposedly wipes all customer data out in direct contradiction to those earlier statements, I scratch my head in confusion.

I don't want to see ANY author lose access to rights. I HATE like holy farking hell to see authors or anyone else NOT getting paid, especially when many of them NEED that money.

I don't want to see a company that was once an industry leader go down the drain. Absolutely not.


When authors who feel they have no other options left finally do speak out and then are publicly referred to as "bad apples" simply for wanting their contractual rights to be met as laid out in the document they signed, that pisses me off.

I want authors to feel empowered to take control of their careers and not worry about being "blackballed" if contractual obligations by another party aren't being upheld. Why is it that we wouldn't hesitate to sue a contractor if they screwed up our house, but if a publisher doesn't uphold their end of the bargain, writers (especially women writers) get all worried and hush-hush and feel like they have no agency or power in the matter?

What the FUCK is up with THAT??

This is a BUSINESS TRANSACTION. Call your book your baby, call it your art, call it whatever you want, but do NOT fool yourself. Once you sign a publishing contract, that "baby" becomes a "business asset." You are now in a contractual agreement.

Do you think your bank would hesitate to come after you if you breached the terms of your mortgage by not paying? Or would they sit there and wring their hands and say, oh, well, we don't want to make waves...

FUCK NO. They would SUE your ass for cause.

So why is it that writers--yes, especially us women writers--treat the PUBLISHING BUSINESS as anything other than a BUSINESS???

Why do we feel that just because it's a book involved that we no longer have any rights to pursue a redress of grievances if the contract isn't being upheld by the other party? Why do we feel we don't have a right to speak out and ASK QUESTIONS to see if there are others being affected by it as well? Why is there this culture of SECRECY about publishing when there pretty much isn't about any other industry, except maybe the military and certain religious institutions???

Yes, that's a lot of farking question marks.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't care WHAT your opinion of Dear Author is. I honestly don't. I'd be this pissed off if a publisher sued Publishers Weekly for the same damn thing. I really would.

The culture of silence in publishing needs to END. You know who else uses a culture of shaming and silence?



Also, just for the hell of it, take a look at some of these links. They are interesting reading and help illustrate some of what I mean about my point of looking at the whole instead of the one.


  1. This tendency to talk in secret--to be unwilling to get "blackballed"--this female code of omertá--whatever you want to call it, I've seen it play out for years amongst romance writers. "Don't poop in your own crib" doesn't cover it. I've heard writers whisper that the publishers talk to one another and if you speak the truth about a publisher's abusive ways, the others will blacklist you.

    This is rubbish. I don't think publishers have time to share the secret publisher list of writers who talk publicly and frankly if they're ill-treated.

    However, it has to do with the be-nice-syndrome women have. Do men allow themselves to be treated badly, and clam up about it in ways we're told to do? I don't think so, although I do know some soft-spoken men. Even when we ought to speak out, we've got this cult of "be nice." That means I respect the EC authors the more for having brought this hot mess out into daylight where it can benefit from the sun. We're going against an ancient norm when we tell the truth despite having two X chromosomes.

    1. Yeah, the "blackballed" stuff is utter bullshit because publishers do NOT sit there keeping notes. (And if they do, trust me, they're not a publisher you'd want to be affiliated with anyway.) I think that's an old holdover from the limited-access agent/publisher days of good ole' New York publishing when everyone DID know each other. Not anymore. Now, there are so many houses out there, it's impossible to keep track. And authors can now easily self-publish as well.